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TIDBITS® HONORS ST. PAT’S DAY WITH

ALL THINGS GREEN

Kelly, emerald, olive, lime, chartreuse, sage or forest … No matter how you say it, the color is green! This week, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Tidbits brings you facts about all things green. • Located on the color spectrum at a wavelength of about 520 to 470 nanometers, the color green is created from a mixture of yellow and blue. Celadon is a shade of green that is a pale tint of spring green, while chartreuse is a pale apple green. Viridian is a dark blue-green color, whose chemical name is hydrated chromium oxide. The facility belonging to comic action heroes the XMen is colored viridian. • Beginning in 1903, Crayola offered one green crayon, simply called “green.” Sea green, spring green and olive green were made available in 1949, and in 1958, the company introduced forest green. Ultra-green came along in 1972, and since then, the company’s more creative green names have included electric lime, jungle green, magic mint, asparagus, Caribbean green, fern green, Granny Smith apple, inch worm, mountain meadow and tropical rainforest. • The waiting room for performers or speakers scheduled to appear on stage is called the Green Room. Although historically painted green, most modern Green Rooms are not. turn the page for more!

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Tidbits® of The Woodlands/West Spring GREEN THINGS (continued): • If a company is guilty of green-washing, they are misleading consumers by proclaiming that they implement positive environmental practices that don’t exist or can’t be substantiated. The company might falsely claim that they use recycled content in their product, or advertise one small truth to distract consumers from a larger falsehood. •nThe word green has found its way into many terms in the English language. If you’re a greenhorn, you’re an inexperienced beginner. When the green-eyed monster rears its ugly head, it represents jealousy; similarly, an individual can be green with envy. Those who have the ability to make anything grow are said to have a green thumb. If you have a roll of greenbacks, your pocket is full of U.S. currency. Not feeling well? You might be described as green around the gills. • Members of the Green Party focus on the environment, equal opportunity, social justice and non-violence. It is their platform that, “every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives.” The party does not accept corporate donations, shunning corporations’ influence and control over government and the media. Probably the most famous Green Party member is Ralph Nader. • The blue-green color of teal was named for the Common Teal, also known as the Eurasian Teal, a common breed of duck, which is the smallest “dabbling” duck. This means it feeds at the surface of the water rather than by diving. The Teal’s green eye patch dominates the bird’s otherwise chestnut-colored head. • The myrtle plant is the source of the green color by the same name, a very dark shade, darker than spinach. Plants in the same family as the myrtle include the clove, guava, allspice and eucalyptus.

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¥ On March 15, 45 B.C, Julius Caesar, the “dictator for life” of the Roman Empire, is murdered by his own senators at a meeting in a hall next to Pompey’s Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as 60 noblemen, including Caesar’s own protege, Marcus Brutus. ¥ On March 20, 1345, according to scholars at the University of Paris, the Black Death, also known as the Plague, is created from what they call “a triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius. It is now known that bubonic plague was carried by fleas. ¥ On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer, in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of relativity drastically altered man’s view of the universe, and his work helped make possible the atomic bomb. ¥ On March 17, 1905, future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt weds his fifth cousin once removed, Eleanor Roosevelt, in New York. In 1918, Eleanor was devastated to discover that Franklin was having an affair with her secretary, Lucy Mercer. When Eleanor threatened to leave him, his mother intervened and offered to support Eleanor financially if she would stay in the marriage.

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¥ On March 18, 1911, Irving Berlin copyrights the biggest pop song of the early 20th century, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” In the first two decades of the 20th century, musical popularity was based not on the sale of recorded performances, but on the sale of sheet music. Future Berlin hits would include “White Christmas” and “God Bless America.”

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¥ On March 16, 1926, American Robert H. Goddard launches the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket at Auburn, Mass. The rocket, fueled by liquid oxygen and gasoline, traveled for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph, reaching an altitude of 41 feet and landing 184 feet away.

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¥ On March 19, 1957, Elvis Presley puts down a $1,000 deposit on a $102,500 house in Memphis, Tenn. The Southern mansion on a 13.8-acre wooded estate was later named Graceland. Today, Graceland is the secondmost-visited house in America, after the White House.


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Tidbits® of The Woodlands/West Spring

Page 4 GREEN THINGS (continued):

• Most people won’t recognize the name of Hugh “Lumpy” Brannum, but baby boomers will remember him as the overall-wearing sidekick of children’s television’s Captain Kangaroo. Aptly named Mr. Green Jeans, Brannum appeared as the handyman at the Treasure House from 1955 to 1984. • We know the Trifolium repens by another name — the white clover, but more commonly, the shamrock. Taken from the Irish word, seamrog, meaning “little clover,” this white-flowered perennial was regarded by early Celts as a charm against evil spirits. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the little three-leafed plant to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — to the Irish people, demonstrating how each leaf was separate yet joined together in a single stem. Most Irish brides include shamrocks in their bridal bouquet as well as in the groom’s boutonniere. • The color green is considered sacred in the Islam religion as a symbol of vegetation and new life. Folklore states that Muhammad was especially fond of the color and wore a green cloak and turban. According to the Koran, inhabitants of Paradise will dress in fine garments of green silk. Several Islamic nations incorporate the color into their flags; in fact, the flag of Libya is simply a green field, with no other colors, designs or details. • That pigment in plants and algae that makes them green is known as chlorophyll, and it is necessary for the process of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll absorbs sunlight and uses that energy to synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water. Leaves change color in the fall because the chlorophyll in the leaves begins to decay. .

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GREEN THINGS (continued): • A gentleman in China who wants to express his love for his sweetheart will give her a gift of jade. In this culture, this gemstone indicates eternity, and is given to convey deep eternal love, similar to the symbol of gold and diamonds in the Western world. • At the end of the yellow brick road in the Land of Oz is the Emerald City, home of the famous Wizard. In L. Frank Baum’s legendary novel, all those entering the Emerald City were made to wear green-tinted eyeglasses that made everything look green, although the City was “no more green than any other city.” • Can you imagine the Wicked Witch of the West without her trademark green makeup in the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz”? The makeup, which took two hours every day to apply, achieved its distinctive color from a dangerous chemical, copper oxide, and actress Margaret Hamilton had to exercise extreme caution when eating meals while wearing it, so as not to ingest any. It became even more dangerous when Hamilton was making her spectacular exit from Munchkinland via an elevator in a trap door on the set. When the burst of real fire came up, her makeup ignited, causing painful burns that required six weeks to heal. • The mineral beryl, which is actually beryllium aluminum silicate, is a colorless crystal. But add a couple of impurities to the mineral, specifically chromium and vanadium, and the beryl crystal becomes a beautiful green color. The new stone is called an emerald! Although emeralds are mined primarily in Colombia, they can also be found in Australia, Canada, India, Italy, France, Germany and Nigeria, among several other places. They have also been found in the U.S. states of Connecticut, Montana, Nevada and the Carolinas. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

¥ “To whiten piano keys, clean with rubbing alcohol.” -- O.E. in Pennsylvania (This is for the white keys only, of course.) ¥ Polish glassware scratches with toothpaste to get them back in shape. ¥ You’ve probably heard that charcoal briquettes are a great way to remove smells from an unused cooler or fridge. I just wanted to mention that you should use the kind that are just plain charcoal, not the kind that contain lighter fluid. They actually make it smell worse, I think.

1. Name the two people and two teams involved in the only trade of managers in major-league history. 2. How many consecutive years did Chicago White Sox knuckleballer Wilbur Wood win at least 20 games? 3. When was the last time before the 2009 season that SMU’s football team played in a bowl game? 4. In 1978-79 and 1979-80, George Gervin led the NBA in scoring, while the same player was second both times. Who was it, and what team did he play for? 5. Who is the only person to win the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year three times with three different teams? 6. Name the two people to have won a men’s World Cup soccer crown as a player and as a coach. 7. In how many weight divisions has boxer Manny Pacquiao won titles?

¥ “Have arthritis in your hands? Make two punctures on opposite sides of a racquetball. Push a pen through and position it to where you can hold the ball while writing. Or better yet, have one of your kids do this for you. I did it for my father, and he loves it. It has improved his writing, and his hand doesn’t get tired so quickly.” -- V.J. in Georgia ¥ Mildew can be removed from your bathroom tile using a mix of water, lemon juice and salt in equal parts. Mix up a couple of cups, apply to mildew areas with a rag, then scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse well. ¥ When drilling holes in drywall or plaster, use this neat trick to catch the dust: Fold the opening flap back on an envelope, and tape the envelope, open, to the wall under where you are going to drill. The dust and pieces will fall right into the open envelope, which can be moved to the next spot and just thrown away when you’re done. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at heresatip@yahoo.com.


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Tidbits® of The Woodlands/West Spring

The Scam Remains the Same The Better Business Bureau has named the Top 10 scams for the year 2010. Some of the scams are surprising, especially since they’ve been around for so long and people are still falling for them. Here are a few highlights from the BBB list: Job-hunting scams: What the scammers really want is your Social Security number and personal information such as your bank account number. Debt-relief services: They want your money upfront, leaving you more broke than you already are. Complaints to the BBB are up 30 percent in the last year alone. Work-from-home schemes: If you flip to the back of magazines as far back as the 1970s, you’ll find ads for working at home. Nothing has changed. The scammers still promise to teach you the secrets to finding work you can do at home, or will send you craft kits to put together, and then tell you the work isn’t up to their standards. Identity theft: While you’re not at fault if a company leaves its computers wide open to security breaches, millions of people make the mistake of being sloppy in

their own security -- in email, giving information over the phone, opening attached files and not shredding mail with your name on it. Scambusters [www.scambusters.org] has made its annual prediction of which scams will be the Top 10 for 2011. Many are the same as last year ... and the year before: Nigerian scams, economy (work at home, loan modification, foreclosure), identity theft (computer hacking, malicious software, hijacking social media information), skimming (credit-card information at ATMs) and people at the door (collecting for charity, contractors who take advance money but don’t do the work.) The only reason certain scams make the Top 10 lists year after year is that they work. Scammers aren’t going to stay with something that doesn’t net them a lot of money. Be more vigilant and suspicious this year. Scammers are out to relieve you of your dollars any way they can. Dissect emails, be suspicious of downloads, don’t buy anything over the phone unless you initiate the call, beef up your computer security and get help with it if you don’t know how, pick your own charities to donate to, and say no to contractors who come to your door.

David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@ gmail.com.

ARIES (March 21 to April 19) Consider moving beyond the usual methods to find a more creative means of handling a difficult on-the-job situation. Avoid confrontation and, instead, aim for cooperation. TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) Seasonal change creates a new look for the outdoors. It also inspires Taureans to redo their own environments, and this is a good week to start redoing both your home and workplace. Enjoy. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) A misunderstanding needs to be straightened out so the wrong impression isn’t allowed to stand. If necessary, offer to support the use of a third party to act as an impartial arbitrator. CANCER (June 21 to July 22) A career change offering what you want in money and responsibilities could involve moving to a new location. Discuss this with family members before making a decision. LEO (July 23 to August 22) Feeling miffed over how you believe you were treated is understandable. But before you decide to “set things straight,” make sure the whole thing wasn’t just a misinterpretation of the facts. VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) Showing you care makes it easier to build trust and gain an advantage in handling a delicate situation. What you learn from this experience also will help you understand yourself better. LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Planning for the future is fine, especially if you include the roles that family members may be asked to play. Don’t be surprised if some hidden emotions are revealed in the process. SCORPIO (October 23 to November 21) Making choices highlights much of the week, and you have a head start here, thanks to your ability to grasp the facts of a situation and interpret them in a clear-cut manner. SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21) Carrying a torch can be a two-way situation: It can either keep you tied to the past or help light your way to the future. The choice, as always, has to be yours. CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19) Your watchwords this week are: “Focus.” “Focus.” “Focus.” Don’t let yourself be distracted from what you set out to do. There’ll be time later to look over other possibilities. AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18) A workplace opportunity might require changes you’re not keen on making. Discuss the plusses and minuses with someone familiar with the situation before you make a decision. PISCES (February 19 to March 20) Love and romance are strong in your aspect this week. If you’ve already met the right person, expect your relationship to grow. And if you’re still looking, odds are you’ll soon be finding it. BORN THIS WEEK: You approach life in a wise and measured manner, which gives you an edge in many areas.

1. SCIENCE: Which scientist was the first to use the word “cell” in describing the basic components of life forms? 2. TELEVISION: Which state was the setting for TV’s “Knots Landing”? 3. MYTHOLOGY: In the legend of King Arthur, what was the name of Merlin’s mistress, who also was called The Lady of the Lake? 4. POETRY: Who wrote, “Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come”? 5. GEOGRAPHY: Which body of water would one find east of Greece? 6. MUSIC: Where would one find a coda to a piece of music? 7. INVENTIONS: When was the zipper invented? 8. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is terra cotta often used to make? 9. ANATOMY: What’s another word or words for capillary? 10. U.S. STATES: Which state’s largest body of fresh water is called Moosehead Lake?


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For Advertising Call (281) 907-8760 FAMOUS PATRICKS

As a tribute to St. Patrick’s Day, Tidbits looks at several of those whose names are derived from the Latin word meaning “noble one.” • As a fine high school athlete, Patrick Swayze excelled in football, diving, broad-jumping, track and martial arts. Yet he abandoned all of his sports to study ballet and dance professionally with major New York City companies. His first professional gig was as Cinderella’s Prince Charming in Disneyland parades. Swayze’s television debut came on the series “M*A*S*H,” where he played a soldier who had been diagnosed with leukemia. Of course, he’s best known for his role as Johnny Castle in 1987’s “Dirty Dancing,” and as Sam Wheat in 1990’s “Ghost,” roles for which he received Golden Globe nominations. He was People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 1991 and was also chosen as one of their 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. Although he fought valiantly against pancreatic cancer, it claimed his life in 2009, 21 months after diagnosis. • One of America’s founding fathers, Patrick Henry was a two-time governor of Virginia and a strong advocate of the American Revolution. As the House of Burgesses debated whether to take military action against the advancing British army, Henry made his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in 1775. • The number 33 jersey has been retired by hockey’s Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. It belonged to Patrick Roy, who has been voted the greatest goaltender in NHL history by a panel of writers and a fan poll. This Hockey Hall of Famer won two Stanley Cup championships each with the Canadiens and the Avalanche, and is the only player in history to win the Stanley’s MVP award three times. Today, Patrick Roy spends his time managing and coaching the Quebec Ramparts, part of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Big Cats

By Sam Mazzotta This week Paws Corner is going to go big -- really big -- and talk a bit about cats that are a little too large to keep as house pets: namely, cats like pumas, wildcats, cougars, tigers, leopards, you name it. Too often, they’re purchased as pets or as show animals only to be neglected or worse when things don’t go so well for their owners. That’s why I’m calling attention to a standout organization, Big Cat Rescue. This Florida-based organization made it a mission almost 20 years ago to rescue big cats and care for them. The story of how it began is pretty incredible -- founders Carole and Don Baskin, after visiting a bobcat breeder and finding out that most of his lynxes and bobcats were sold for their fur, purchased all 56 of the breeder’s cats and took them from Minnesota to Florida rather than leave them to be slaughtered. Their transition from casual pet owners who thought it would be cool to own a bobcat to committed advocates for stopping exploitation of big cats is

a tale in itself. If you’re interested in big cats for any reason, visit their website at www.bigcatrescue.org. The site is chock full of information about these cats, why they don’t make good pets and ways that you can help the sanctuary continue its work. P.S. If you’re a frequent visitor to www. pawscorner.com, you probably know that Purina is looking for a “Cat Chow correspondent” to travel the country on behalf of Purina, attend cat events and connect with fellow cat owners. Applications will be accepted through March 28 at catchow.com. Looking for more pet advice and information? Check out pawscorner.com online! Send your pet questions and tips to ask@pawscorner.com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.


FAMOUS PATRICKS (continued): • A different number 33 jersey has been retired by the New York Knicks, belonging to center Patrick Ewing. Ewing lived the first 11 years of his life in Jamaica, where he played cricket and soccer. At Georgetown University, he was one of the first college players to start on the varsity team as a freshman, which contributed to his being voted as the 16th greatest college player of all time by ESPN. The Hall of Famer is also on the list as one of the 50 Greatest Basketball Players of All Time. Ewing has two Olympic gold medals to his credit as a member of the 1984 and 1992 basketball teams. Today, he is the assistant coach for the Orlando Magic. • Although not a familiar name, the Reverend Patrick Bell was famous in his own right. This Church of Scotland minister invented the reaping machine in 1828. Bell collected no financial gain from his invention, because he never obtained a patent, believing it should benefit all mankind. • “Dr. McDreamy,” neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd on television’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” is played by heartthrob Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey entered the entertainment world as a teenager when he studied juggling and actually placed third in the National Jugglers Convention. At one time, he wanted to attend Clown College. The Maine-born star was also a state champion downhill skier who trained for an Olympic team slot. Dempsey was diagnosed as dyslexic at a young age, and although he attended the local high school, he dropped out before graduating. His dyslexia forces him to totally memorize all his scripts. In his spare time, he is a sports car racer and has participated in both the Indianapolis and Daytona Beach races. 1. Joe Gordon was traded from Cleveland to Detroit for Jimmy Dykes in 1960. 2. Four -- 1971-74. 3. It was 1984. 4. World B. Free of the San Diego Clippers. 5. Pat Burns, with Montreal (1989), Toronto (1993) and Boston (1998). 6. Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer. 7. Eight.

5. Aegean Sea 6. At the end 7. 1891 8. Pottery 9. Blood vessel 10. Maine

1. Robert Hooke 2. California 3. Vivian 4. Carl Sandburg

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Volume 2 Week 10